why I Converted Mikel To A Defensive Midfielder – Mourinho

A former Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho finally reveals the reason why he converted Super Eagles playmaker John Mikel Obi from an attacking to a defensive midfielder npflupdates.com reports.

Mikel was a natural attacking midfielder, and it was evident when he played at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup tournament in Netherlands. Mikel scored a lot of goals for the Flying Eagles at the tournament, helping them reach the final before losing to Lionel Messi’s Argentina.

Mikel Obi and John Terry shared the same locker room at Chelsea.
Obi and John Terry

Also read: I Will Not Miss Boniface, Others During The 2023 AFCON – Alonso

After the tournament, a young Mikel was sought after by Chelsea and Manchester United. But he signed for Chelsea, and was under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho who was coach of Chelsea at that time.

With Mourinho, the former Trabzonspor playmaker was converted to a defensive midfielder, a position he played in throughout his years at Chelsea.

Mourinho talks about his relationship with Mikel

Ugochukwu talks about Mikel Obi's achievement at Chelsea.
Obi and Jose Mourinho

According to Mourinho, he converted the gigantic Midfielder because of his physique, strength and simplicity with the ball.

“I liked everything about Mikel. If you go through all the positional[defensive] midfield players that I have had during my career, there are lots of similar things,” Mourinho said on the ObiOne Podcast and was quoted by Soccernet Nigeria.

“Aside from Claude Makelele who was small, I had them all tall and physically strong. They also knew how to occupy space and they have what I call ‘the simplicity of football’, which is fundamental in that position.

“The team needs balance, with or without the ball. A defensive midfielder needs to be humble in the sense that they recognize that the team is more important than themselves.”

He continued revealing that Mikel was a positional Midfielder with quick touches; and keeps the ball going.

Mourinho talks about his relationship with Mikel Obi at Chelsea
Obi and Mourinho

Also read: Ugochukwu : At Chelsea, I Want To Have Great Achievements Like Mikel Obi

“With me at Chelsea, Mikel was a fantastic positional midfield player, very quick thinking, one touch, two touch, everything was simple, and the game was flowing.

“He was not a guy to win a race of 100 meters, but everything was fast with him on the ball and he understood the situation of the game.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *